MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
    But with their toils their people’s safety bought: 
    High o’er the rest Epaminondas stood: 
    Timoleon, glorious in his brother’s blood: 
    Bold Scipio, saviour of the Roman state,
    Great in his triumphs, in retirement great;
    And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught mind
    With boundless power unbounded virtue joined,
    His own strict judge, and patron of mankind. 
        Much-suffering heroes next their honours claim,
    Those of less noisy and less guilty fame,
    Fair Virtue’s silent train:  supreme of these
    Here ever shines the godlike Socrates;
    He whom ungrateful Athens could expel,
    At all times just but when he signed the shell: 
    Here his abode the martyred Phocion claims,
    With Agis, not the last of Spartan names: 
    Unconquered Cato shows the wound he tore,
    And Brutus his ill Genius meets no more. 
        But in the centre of the hallowed choir,
    Six pompous columns o’er the rest aspire;
    Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand,
    Hold the chief honours, and the Fane command. 
    High on the first the mighty Homer shone;
    Eternal adamant composed his throne;
    Father of verse! in holy fillets drest,
    His silver beard waved gently o’er his breast: 
    Though blind, a boldness in his looks appears;
    In years he seemed, but not impaired by years. 
    The wars of Troy were round the pillar seen: 
    Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian Queen;
    Here Hector glorious from Patroclus’ fall,
    Here dragged in triumph round the Trojan wall. 
    Motion and life did every part inspire,
    Bold was the work, and proved the master’s fire. 
    A strong expression most he seemed t’ affect,
    And here and there disclosed a brave neglect. 
        A golden column next in rank appeared,
    On which a shrine of purest gold was reared;
    Finished the whole, and laboured every part,
    With patient touches of unwearied art;
    The Mantuan there in sober triumph sate,
    Composed his posture, and his look sedate: 
    On Homer still he fixed a reverent eye,
    Great without pride, in modest majesty,
    In living sculpture on the sides were spread
    The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead: 
    Eliza stretched upon the funeral pyre,
    Aeneas bending with his aged sire: 
    Troy flamed in burning gold, and o’er the throne
    Arms and the Man in golden ciphers shone. 
        Four swans sustain a car of silver bright,
    With heads advanced, and pinions stretched for flight,
    Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode,
    And seemed to labour with the inspiring God. 
    Across the harp a careless hand he flings,
    And boldly sinks into the sounding strings. 
    The figured games of Greece the column grace,
    Neptune and Jove survey the
Project Gutenberg
MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook